Joanna Gaines: A Home Decor Icon

By: Shyana Fisher

Most girls watch “The Bachelor” or “Keeping up with the Kardashians” for their reality TV fix. I watch “Fixer Upper.”

This HGTV show first aired in 2013 and featured Waco, Texas natives Joanna and Chip Gaines. These two would go around and buy old properties then fix them up for prospective homeowners. It seems fairly run-of-the-mill, but Joanna truly made this show her own unique experience. Throughout the five seasons of the show, they create many memorable homes for clients, and also end up renovating quite a few of their own! For example, in season five, Chip decides he wants to buy an old diner and fix it up. The family ends up starting their own restaurant, adding to their illustrious design shops and markets. Although “Fixer Upper” officially ended in 2018, the Gaines are far from done with flipping houses.

While Chip does the demolition and builds the framework for every house, Joanna comes in and designs every square inch to the exact specifications of the homeowners. Her style is “rustic farmhouse,” complete with shiplap beams and classic white kitchens. Whatever Joanna puts her mind to, she does well. My favorite rooms that she designs are her open-concept kitchens because they look so classy. From white tiles to farmhouse sinks and accent quote walls, these rooms tie the whole house together.

While I absolutely adore her designs, and I am also enamored with the way she lives her life. She is the mom of four kids, and somehow still manages to write books, publish magazines and flip houses in her free time. Joanna has recently come out with her latest book “We Are the Gardeners” which she wrote with her children. While I have yet to read this one, I do own “The Magnolia Table Cookbook,” which highlights her recipes and stories. These books and magazines are just as picture-perfect as the houses the Gaines create.

What I most enjoy about Joanna as an icon is that she is real. The recipes in her books aren’t salads and bougie desserts but simple homemade biscuits and cookies that are kid-approved. She advocates for healthy eating, but not depriving yourself. (Her fried chicken recipe looks delicious). The houses that she shows are practical and seem like they have actually been lived in, which is a far cry from minimalist shelving and no storage.

I would love to have Joanna Gaines design my house one day, but until then I can use her as inspiration to create a rustic look that fits my needs. My dorm this year plays off of Joanna’s color schemes, and once I move into an apartment of my own I am excited to see what else I can do.


A version of this post originally appeared in “Clarity” The Teller May 2019 Issue 6

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